In my grandparents day, when many Slovenian immigrants were coming to my hometown, they wanted to start a Slovenian parish. So they went about knocking on doors trying to raise funds. The fundraisers were looked upon with suspicion however. In the “old country” it was the government who built the churches through taxes. People said, “You start building and then we will give.” Of course, it doesn’t work that way.
That is one danger of government funding projects to too far of an extent. We get the idea that things will always be there and I need not worry about it. SOMEBODY official will make sure that things are taken care of.
Not so with a parish. A parish does not have to exist. It exists because some people are willing to show up, do ministry and projects, and donate resources. As we have seen in our diocese, when people stop doing that (mostly due to flight to the suburbs,) parishes cease to exist.
So we come across the 6th precept of the Church. It is to support your parish, provide for your priest, and also to look out for the good of the greater Church around the world and the work of the Holy Father. Yep, some of that means hard, cold cash. There is no getting around that. If you want to feed the poor, you need a kitchen, and a kitchen costs money. MORE IMPORTANT is prayer. Then there is showing up. There is engaging in ministry and cleaning pews. There are mission trips, supporting the teachings of the Church, helping struggling parishes, and reaching out to the greater community, social justice, and evangelization. When a parish does all of these things, it is healthy. And for a parish to do all these things, it needs you to do them or it doesn’t get done.